Amniotic fluid prolactin and fetal lung maturation

John W.C. Johnson, John E. Tyson, Wayne Mitzner, Jeanne C. Beck, Barbara Andreassen, William T. London, Jose Villar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Concentrations of prolactin in amniotic fluid, fetal plasma, and maternal plasma were determined in 34 rhesus monkeys delivered by hysterotomy under general anesthesia at gestational ages of 110 to 160 days (term, 165 days). Included were 15 cases (gestational ages 110 to 143 days) in which the mothers received 2 mg of betamethasone intramuscularly daily for 3 days prior to delivery. Fetal lung maximum volumes were determined in addition to the following indices of fetal lung surfactant: lung alveolar stability, lung phosphatidylcholine concentrations, lung extract surface tensions, and amniotic fluid lecithin to sphingomyelin ratios. Amniotic fluid prolactin was found to correlate significantly with lung alveolar stability (r = 0.51; p < 0.01), lung phosphatidylcholine (r = 0.51; p < 0.01), lung extract surface tension (r = -0.39, p < 0.05) and amniotic fluid lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio (r = 0.50; p < 0.01). These correlations remained statistically significant even when the effects of gestational age were taken into account. These findings suggest that amniotic fluid may modulate fetal production of surfactant via its prolactin content.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-380
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of obstetrics and gynecology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 15 1985


  • Rhesus monkey
  • alveolar stability
  • fetal lung development
  • hetamethasone
  • prolactin
  • surfactant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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